Historic motion passed in Canadian Parliament

Historic motion passed in Canadian Parliament

The Canadian Network to Abolition Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) is very pleased to advise that the House of Commons passed a unanimous historic motion on December 7, 2010 that supports the Senate’s motion in June for Canada to engage in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention.

Thanks goes to the cooperative and hard work of a long list of people. The Senate motion was in response to a call by 537 members of the Order of Canada for Canada to support the Nuclear Weapons Convention. These 537 were organized by Murray Thomson O.C., the Hon. Doug Roche O.C., and Prof. Dr. John Polanyi C.C. Their appeal was supported by Senators Hugh Segal C.M., Nancy Ruth C.M., and Romeo Dallaire O.C.; Members of Parliament Bill Siksay (Canadian Coordinator for Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament), Libby Davies, and John Baird; Ernie Regehr O.C., and the 537 Order of Canada recipients who have spoken out for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

The text is in Hansard and available at: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=hansard&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=3&DocId=4859171&File=0
(search for “Nuclear”).

The motion:

That the House of Commons:

(a) recognize the danger posed by the proliferation of nuclear materials and technology to peace and security;

(b) endorse the statement, signed by 500 members, officers and companions of the Order of Canada, underlining the importance of addressing the challenge of more intense nuclear proliferation and the progress of and opportunity for nuclear disarmament;

(c) endorse the 2008 five point plan for nuclear disarmament of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations and encourage the Government of Canada to engage in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention as proposed by the United Nations Secretary-General;

(d) support the initiatives for nuclear disarmament of President Obama of the United States of America;

(e) commend the decision of the Government of Canada to participate in the landmark Nuclear Security Summit and encourage the Government of Canada to deploy a major world-wide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of preventing nuclear proliferation and increasing the rate of nuclear disarmament;

Que la Chambre des communes:

a) reconnaisse le risque que pose la prolifération des matières et de la technologie nucléaires pour la paix et la sécurité;

b) approuve la déclaration, signée par 500 membres, officiers et compagnons de l’Ordre du Canada, soulignant l’importance de s’attaquer au problème de la prolifération nucléaire dont l’intensité s’accroît, de suivre l’évolution du dossier du désarmement nucléaire et de tenir compte des possibilités dans ce domaine;

c) approuve les cinq initiatives sur le désarmement nucléaire proposées en 2008 par M. Ban Ki-Moon, secrétaire général des Nations Unies, et incite le gouvernement du Canada à entamer des négociations sur le désarmement nucléaire en vue de conclure une entente comme le propose le secrétaire général des Nations Unies;

d) appuie les initiatives du président des États- Unis, M. Obama, sur le désarmement nucléaire;

e) salue la décision du gouvernement du Canada de participer au sommet historique sur la sécurité nucléaire et l’incite à mettre en œuvre une importante initiative diplomatique canadienne à l’échelle mondiale en appui à la prévention de la prolifération nucléaire et à l’accroissement du taux de désarmement nucléaire.

The motions adopted in the Canadian Senate and House of Commons are part of a growing number of such resolutions in parliaments around the world (See Resolutions adopted or pending in national and regional parliaments supporting the NWC and/or the UN Secretary-General’s five-point plan on nuclear disarmament).

You can send letters at these addresses to:

Prime Minister, Stephen Harper: Harper.S@parl.gc.ca
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter MacKay: MacKay.P@parl.gc.ca
Minister of Defence, Lawrence Cannon: Cannon.L@parl.gc.ca
Other MPs: http://webinfo.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/MainMPsCompleteList.aspx?TimePeriod=C
Senators: http://www.parl.gc.ca/common/senmemb/senate/isenator.asp?Language=E


Ernie Regehr, Canada’s Parliament Endorses a Nuclear Weapons Convention
The full story on how that came to be is yet to be told; in the meantime see the full resolution and a note on the work it supports and mandates.

Ernie Regehr, More on NATO’s Strategic Concept: Forward steps amid lost opportunities
A year ago a group of NGOs hosted an Ottawa experts seminar that, among other things, addressed the NATO Strategic Concept that was then under review. As you know, a new Strategic Concept has been approved, and while it certainly doesn’t make all the changes that are required, it does make a number of specific changes that we recommended a year ago.

Douglas Roche, Non-proliferation meets non-partisanship, Embassy, December 15, 2010, p. 15 (Available for purchase)